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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Middle East”

How Sanctions Feed Authoritarianism

The United States has a long history of intervening overseas to solve one problem and inadvertently creating others. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration armed rebels fighting Afghanistan’s Soviet-backed government only to find that some of them later targeted the United States…It’s worth remembering these precedents as the Trump administration prepares to reimpose sanctions on Iran as part of its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Read Here – The Atlantic

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War Financing And The Decline Of Democracy

What made democracies different and more restrained in warfare, according to Kant’s theory of democratic peace, was that the costs in both blood and treasure were passed along to the public, which then imposed pressure on leaders to keep wars short and low in cost.

Read Here – War On The Rocks

Nations Are Wielding Their Sovereign Wealth Funds As Tools of Power

According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, the funds of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Kuwait have a combined $2.8 trillion in assets under management. These governments are using their national wealth as a strategic tool of power projection as never before and blurring the line between economic and political decision-making.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

Mapping A World From Hell

The Costs of War Project identifies no less than 76 countries, 39% of those on the planet, as involved in that global conflict.  That means places like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya where U.S. drone or other air strikes are the norm and U.S. ground troops (often Special Operations forces) have been either directly or indirectly engaged in combat.  It also means countries where U.S. advisers are training local militaries or even militias in counter-terror tactics and those with bases crucial to this expanding set of conflicts.  As the map makes clear, these categories often overlap.

Read Here – TomDispatch.com

10 Conflicts To Watch In 2018

The most ominous threats in 2018 — nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula and a spiralling confrontation pitting the United States and its allies against Iran — could both be aggravated by Trump’s actions, inactions, and idiosyncrasies. U.S. demands (in the North Korean case, denuclearisation; in Iran’s, unilateral renegotiation of the nuclear deal or Tehran’s regional retreat) are unrealistic without serious diplomatic engagement or reciprocal concessions.

Read Here – International Crisis Group

Global Arms Industry: First Rise In Arms Sales Since 2010, Says SIPRI

F-16 jet being re-fuelled mid-air. Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Defense

Sales of arms and military services by the world’s largest arms-producing and military services companies—the SIPRI Top 100—totalled $374.8 billion in 2016. The total for the SIPRI Top 100 in 2016 is 1.9 per cent higher compared with 2015 and represents an increase of 38 per cent since 2002 (when SIPRI began reporting corporate arms sales). This is the first year of growth in SIPRI Top 100 arms sales after five consecutive years of decline.

Read Here – SIPRI

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The New Oil Game

So, how will China the emergent power of the 21st century protect its energy interests? How will it use its political and economic muscle to secure its oil supplies? These questions have heightened relevance in light of the signals conveyed at the recently concluded 19th People’s Party Congress of the Communist Party.

Read Here – The Indian Express

Why One Belt, One Road Will Run Through Tehran

As the Trump administration works out the specifics of its strategy to contain Iran, China is looking for ways to bring Iran into the global system. After the recent party congress, which cemented President Xi Jinping’s grip on power, those efforts will likely take the form of the completion of his most ambitious foreign policy plan, the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, of which Tehran will be one of the key beneficiaries.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Putin Is Filling The Middle East Power Vacuum

The Israelis and Turks, the Egyptians and Jordanians –– they’re all beating a path to the Kremlin in the hope that Vladimir Putin, the new master of the Middle East, can secure their interests and fix their problems. The latest in line is Saudi King Salman, who on Wednesday is due to become the first monarch of the oil-rich kingdom to visit Moscow. At the top of his agenda will be reining in Iran, a close Russian ally seen as a deadly foe by most Gulf Arab states.

Read Here – Bloomberg

China’s Plans To Rule The Seas Hit Trouble In Pakistan

China’s strategic ambition to extend its maritime power across the Indian Ocean is hitting severe obstacles in the giant, volatile Pakistani province of Balochistan. Beijing’s priority is to develop the sleepy Baloch fishing port of Gwadar, 300 miles west of Karachi, to project its commercial and naval influence further west. But kidnappings, drive-by shootings and bomb attacks in the past few weeks and months offer a chilling warning that China will have to pay a high price for a deep-water harbour near the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

Read Here – Politico

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